“The Intrepids” is what more comics should be like. It’s vibrant and fun, smart and enthusiastic. Reading it feels like reading something someone is in love with. It has flaws, sure, but being creator owned you can feel the very soul of the creators being poured into it. I wish more comics felt this way. I wish more readers of comics would give books like “The Intrepids” a chance, because I think they’d feel the passion too.
In this issue our heroes have finally tracked down Dr. Koi, and after breaking into his base, they confront him, and do battle with a giant robot squid that kicks their collective butts. But when Dr. Koi comes to, he calls off his protector, and frees The Intrepids and explains his version of history, which badly contradicts their Mentor and “creator” Dante’s version. Who is to be believed? They might not find out, because one of their team isn’t being straight with them.
Kurtis Wiebe and Scott Kowalchuk, co-creators and writer and artist respectively, have created a smart and original series with a delicious 1960’s mod flavor permeating everything from their snappy but old fashioned dialogue through to costume choices, hairstyles, and jet packs. “The Intrepids” is one part science experiment, one part superheroes, and one part detective noir, then shaken (not stirred) to a pulpy retro finished product that is completely fun and surprisingly engaging. It’s also got a hell of a lot of heart. More than any of the adventure missions and science gadgetry (which are all very cool) what keeps “The Intrepids” going is the sense of family you get between these misfit characters. And Wiebe wisely puts that at risk in this arc, giving with one hand and threatening to take away with the other. The stakes, thanks to the emotional bonds you feel for the characters and feel between the characters, are very high. And high stakes make good comics.
My sole complaint about “The Intrepids” is that the characters, who I wouldn’t change one lick, feel quite a bit older than I think they are supposed to feel. There are not quite clear references that suggest they’re teenagers, or just past being teenagers, and that feels far too young to me for what we see here. The art, both in character design and actual execution on the page feels a bit older to me, as does the character dialogue. On the writing tip, that makes a bit more sense since this has a period feel, but it’s still not quite gelling.
Barring that one small quibble, “The Intrepids” is firing on all cylinders, a solid little comic that should have a great future ahead of it. If you haven’t been reading, pick up it up now and get on board. Smart, fun, passionate comics sadly don’t come around every day, but this one fits the bill nicely.